Bookies are threatening to stop taking bets on the Christmas number one following the recent dominance of X Factor winners, according to the papers.

The X Factor series winner has taken the top spot in the Christmas chart for the past three years now – and this year’s champion, Alexandra Burke, is set to follow suit when her debut single Hallelujah goes straight to the top on Sunday.

The 20-year-old has become one of the most popular singers in Christmas betting history – so much so that bookies have already paid out on her topping the charts, after her odds were slashed to 1/200.

“The X Factor has once again cost the bookies a fortune,” Ladbrokes spokesman David Williams told the paper.

“We might have to stop betting on this next year as punters have cottoned on to the fact that backing the X Factor winner is the easiest way to make money in December. We keep hoping people will tire of the show. But that just hasn’t happened.”

Other bookies are hoping that the run of seasonal chart-toppers from X Factor winners comes to an end soon.

“The Christmas number one used to be about some silly novelty song or the latest effort from Cliff Richard,” one said. “It was fun and had a measure of the season about it.”

“Let’s face it, Hallelujah is not exactly a cheery song the whole family will be singing round the fire, is it?”